Indiana Wesleyan University has received a grant of $599,111 to establish Examen, a free summer high school youth theology institute. The program is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues, and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

Amanda Drury, assistant professor of practical theology, will be joined by other IWU faculty members in leading 20 high school students through the study of Scripture and pivotal theological texts. Students will also take part in service projects and hands-on ministry experiences; examine the moral and ethical dimensions of contemporary issues; and learn about religious practices, including prayer, contemplation, and worship.

“My hopes [for Examen] are twofold: first, that we would be able to create an environment where women and men can explore whether or not they might be called into ministry,” said Drury, director of Examen. “And second, that we would be able to model to these teenagers what healthy self-care looks like.”

Lilly Endowment is giving $44.5 million in grants to help a select group of private-four year colleges and universities around the nation develop similar theological institutes. The grants are part of the Endowment’s commitment to identify and cultivate a cadre of theologically minded youth who will become leaders in church and society.

Examen is open to all high school students and rising college freshman, and will take place June 18-July 2, 2016, on IWU’s residential campus in Marion, Indiana. For more information, visit

Southern Wesleyan University has also been named a recipient of the grant. SWU, located in Central, S.C., will host the Fellowship of the Called Youth Theology Institute, also this summer. For detailed information and to register, click here. This event is also open to rising high school freshmen through recent high school graduates.